|Publication number||US6570978 B1|
|Application number||US 09/655,819|
|Publication date||May 27, 2003|
|Filing date||Sep 6, 2000|
|Priority date||Mar 6, 1998|
|Also published as||EP1060621A1, WO1999045718A1|
|Publication number||09655819, 655819, US 6570978 B1, US 6570978B1, US-B1-6570978, US6570978 B1, US6570978B1|
|Inventors||Petter Johnsen, Vidar Timenes Tjore, Geir Olav Evensen|
|Original Assignee||Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Referenced by (3), Classifications (6), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation of PCT application No. PCT/NO99/00069, filed Mar. 2, 1999, the entire content of which is hereby incorporated by reference in this application.
The present invention relates to a method for improving a network structure, especially an IN (Intelligent Network) network structure and the multi feature services thereof.
Most of the IN Services designed today comprise services that can be customised and provide different features to different customers. This is usually multi feature services. The multi feature services will be subject to continuously changes and from this emerges the need for a fast and flexible way of introducing new versions of the features, and customising of the complete service.
Intelligent Networks are a telecommunication network architecture aimed at offering new telecommunication services in a fast, and flexible and cost effective way. The core of an Intelligent telecommunications Network consists of a Service Switching Point (SSP) which is a switching system that can intercept telephone calls and query a Service Control Point (SCP), which is a system containing service specific logic and data that will allow it to return instructions to the SSP on how to further treat the intercepted call.
This core of the Intelligent Network will take care of the basic call handling. If the service needs some kind of special functionality (this could be functionality for playing announcements and receiving digits and so on) the service will connect to an external device, an IP/SRF, providing the needed functionality.
On this Intelligent Networks platform multi feature services are implemented. The user of the service will access this feature through a user interface. The SCP has limitations regarding to which technology the user interface can be provided (the standard SCP/SSP will only support a DTMF interface). For this reason user interfaces might be provided by external devices (IP/SRF) providing the needed technology (this could be devices providing technology for speech recognition or access to the service from a PA).
Most of the services used today uses a DTMF interface. If more sophisticated interfaces are to be provided, external IP providing the needed technology has to be connected. This will often result in that the service has to be updated and adjusted for this kind of technology and user interface.
By defining an interface against the IP providing the user interface technology, the service could be made independent of the actual technology used. In this way the user interface could easily be changed by connecting to a different IP.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,537,466 (Tayler et al.) relates to an Intelligent communications Network, which controls the communication such as to provide diagrams illustrating how the telephone calls are processed. Such diagrams comprise tables which in turn comprise service keys and specific telephone data.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,383 (Yunoki) discloses a communication service control system in an Intelligent Network providing a service applicator storing data comprising programme component numbers indicating the type of services. The service application unit comprises service keys.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,251,255 (Epley) discloses a method for controlling the processing of telephone calls from feature processors, which are data bases which are shared between a number of switching systems.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,530,931 (Cook-Hellberg et al.) discloses a method and apparatus for providing a look ahead feature of an enhanced call forwarding in a telephone call in a telephone communications system. The prior art suggest tables regarding the features and discloses how these features are processed.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,457,736 (Cain et al.) discloses a system and method for providing micro cellular Personal Communications Services (PCS) through the use of DRPC architecture. Said PCS services comprise a data base which is used for storing UPT numbers which have been assigned to PCS users.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,386,464 (Pruitt) discloses a method for implementing telecommunications features in switches comprising a memory means and a plurality of system conditions. The features are controlled by its own feature programme which is executed in the memory means of the switches.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,574,780 (Andruska et al.) discloses a method for controlling telephone call features which are supplied to a user from a hierarchical telecommunication switch. U.S. Pat. No. 5,337,351 (Manabe et al.) discloses a control unit, i.e. a Feature Interaction Arbitrator (FIA) which identifies and controls the interaction among various telephone call features, said prior art suggesting tables illustrating the properties of such elements.
Further, the applicant is aware of the following patent publications WO 95/24011 (Telescan/Carlin et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 5,206,899 (Gupta et al.), WO 96/13927 (LM Ericson/Iapalucci et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 5,255,264 (Cotton et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 5,519,772 (Akman et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 5,530,742 (Taylor et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 5,572,583 (Wheeler, Jr. et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,115 (Hollenbach et al.), as well as applicant's own Swedish patent applications: 97-272405 (3.11.95) Call bach subscriber feature providing system within communications network. 95-275585 (31.1.94) Network-based telephone system containing interactive facilities. 97-045167 (23.6.95) Subscriber interaction method for intelligent network. 97-045166 (23.6.95) Subscriber interaction method for intelligent network. 96-333569 (13.10.94) Advanced intelligent network subscriber specific message recording.
A main object of the present invention is to provide a method for improving a network structure and the multi feature services thereof.
Another object of the present invention is to provide such a method whereby the different features thereof can be put together in a more flexible way.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide services with a different user interface than standard DTMF interaction, possibly by involving the use of external devices.
More specifically, an object of the present invention is to present a more flexible way to address different features in multi feature services and the interface and information transferred between an external device.and the IN service, especially when addressing features within the service from any external device.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a method wherein the service could be made independent of the actual technology used.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a method wherein the user interface could easily be changed by connecting to different IPs.
The above objects are achieved in a method as claimed in the preamble, which according to the invention is characterized by the characterizing clause of the appending patent claim 1.
Further features and advantages of the present invention will appear from the following description taken in conjunction with the enclosed Figures, as well as from the further enclosed patent claims.
Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, reference being had to the enclosed drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating the concept of feature key and feature selector.
FIG. 2 is a simplified sketch of IP-SCP communication when IP initiating execution of a feature in the SCP.
FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a call scenario related to UPT service, wherein a specific feature thereof is executed according to the present invention.
The invention describes how features (sub-services) in multi feature services can be addressed and how an external device like an IP/SRF address(es) features within a multi feature service.
Services may consist of many different features. In this invention, each feature within any service are assigned a unique number, called Feature Key. When a feature is to be executed, the feature's Feature Key is sent to a service called a feature selector. The Feature selector will from the Feature Key identify the correct feature and execute it, see FIG. 1.
When an external IP/SRF shall be used by the service, the protocol used for information exchange between the IP and the SCP could be CS1. If the IP wants to initiate execution of a specific feature, the feature's Feature Key (and possible feature input) will be signalled back to the service by CS1 operations, see FIG. 2. The Feature Key will then be sent to the Feature Selector, and the feature will be executed.
This concept can be used to provide services with new user interfaces. An IP providing the technology for the wanted user interface is set up in the network. This IP will handle the user interaction, i.e. welcome the user to this and this service, guide the user through possible menu structures, identify which features the user wants to execute, and collect possible input for this feature and so on.
The service will be triggered as usual, for instance by a user dialling a specific B-number. The triggered service will then connect an IP providing the wanted user interface (1. and 2. on FIG. 2). The service then initiates the execution of the user interaction on the IP (3. in FIG. 2). The IP will then initiate the dialogue with the user, and in the mean time the service will await a result from the IP. The dialogue between the user and the IP will continue until the IP decides that it has collected enough information to start a feature in the service running on the SCP. The IP will then send the Feature Key identifying the feature that is to be executed back to the service (4. in FIG. 2), together with possible feature input/data. The Feature Selector will then filter out the Feature Key and execute the correct feature.
When this concept is used for the user interfaces, change of user interface in a service is very easy as this only involves connecting to a different IP.
As an example of a call scenario we will use Ericsson's UPT service, as this is illustrated in FIG. 3. This is a multi feature service, and it will use speech recognition as one possible user interface:
You subscribe to Ericsson's UPT Service, which supports speech recognition. You are arriving home and want to redirect all you incoming UPT calls to your home terminal. You access the service by dialling the UPTAN. The service then sets up a temporary connection to the speech recognition IP, to provide you with the desired user interface. The service then sends a Prompt and Collect User Information (PCUI) to the IP to initiate the user interaction, which then plays a welcome announcement and you may then give your commands. Then you say <REDIRECT> <HOME>. The IP identifies this as the UPT Feature ‘Redirect all calls to the subscriber's home number’, which e.g. is identified by the Feature Key 1234. The Feature Key 1234 is then sent to the service as the digitResponse parameter in Return Result for PCUI. The Feature Selector receives the Feature Key 1234 and identifies this as the feature ‘Redirect all calls to the subscriber's home number’ and the feature is executed. All incoming calls will now be redirected to your home terminal.
Could be used when features within a service should be accessed/activated from external equipment like an IP.
Service can be made independent of the user interface.
The interface is independent of the technology used.
Easy to address new features (adding/moving pointers in Feature Selector).
The IP and the SCP is independent. Change of feature in one of the nodes can be done without influencing the other.
This document concerns the communication between multi feature service and an IP providing a user interface. The implementation of the invention may comprise other kinds of equipment that may be used together with multi feature service.
The operations used in this document is CS1 operations. The inventive idea may, however, cover for future and other Intelligent Network protocols.
Abbreviation and terminology
Service Control Point
Service Switching Point
Universal Personal Telecommunication
Prompt and Collect User Information
Special Resource Function
Dual Tone Multi Frequency
Capability Set 1
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|U.S. Classification||379/221.08, 379/207.02, 379/229|
|Nov 20, 2000||AS||Assignment|
|Nov 27, 2006||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Nov 29, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
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|Nov 27, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12